Dunsinane Premiered in China to Celebrate Shakespeare's 450th Birthday

Two prestigious UK theatre companies, the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company, jointly performed Dunsinane...

Wu Promotion joins in a group photo with the cast and crew of Dunsinane

From April 22 to May 10, 2014, two prestigious UK theatre companies, the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company, jointly performed Dunsinane in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, and other cities. Dunsinane is a bold sequel to one of Shakespeare’s most mature and gripping tragedies, Macbeth. Celebrating the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, the highly anticipated play was very well received by audiences. Tickets were full at the Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts and the Shanghai Grand Theatre, as well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan; in Shanghai, more than half of the tickets sold out in less than a month.

Leading Scottish playwright David Greig has been hailed as one of the most interesting and boldest playwrights in UK by British media. An audacious deconstruction of the classic play Macbeth, Dunsinane presents striking parallels between past and present eras in a socially relevant tale. In addition to playwright David Greig, the Dunsinane team includes some of the most significant figures in the British theatre scene. The play is directed by well-known British director Roxana Silbert, who is also the current Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Dunsinane is her best and favourite work as a director at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Acclaimed British actors star in Dunsinane

Dunsinane tells the story of Siward, the commanding officer, Malcolm, the new king of Scotland, and Lady Macbeth. The exhilarating play is a vision of war and peace, love and conspiracies, and the courage and hope to restore peace in a country ravaged by war. The incisive, profound, and witty play invites audiences to meditate on the nature of history and war. One of the highlights of the play is its fusion of contemporary rock and Scottish folk music that injects vivacity into the dark tale. To quote a fan, “The play is a powerful metaphor of contemporary politics; I see Baghdad in it: the aggressors overthrow the tyrant to establish a state of peace held together by military rule, but the people of the conquered land are uncooperative. Differences in religion, language, culture, and mentality cause a massacre, and the situation spins out of control. Due to their own limitations, all of the characters, whether idealistic, smooth, deceitful, rebellious, or compromising, are trapped in a web of destruction. Exuding charisma, the actors projected their voices without the aid of microphones. In a snow scene in the end, the composition with the man and the woman, the girl and the baby, and the red cloth bag was gorgeous. Lady Macbeth’s final appearance with her back to the audience was heartbreaking and striking. What a tremendous performance.”

Exquisite props used in the play

Dunsinane is rooted in a long theatrical tradition and its strength stems from the rigour employed in its production, from acting to stage design. The stage, though without any fancy contraptions, was created with painstaking attention to detail. The production team strove to recreate the original set and props used in their UK performance. In the play, Siward carries the head of Lady Macbeth’s son in a bag that appears to be an unassuming bloody bundle. What audiences cannot see is that the bag actually contains a cut-up mannequin that weighs the same as a real man. With such meticulous attention to detail, the play was destined from the start to be a success.

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